Guest post from Manish Dalal, Vice President, Verisign Naming Services Asia
The composition of the Internet’s population continues to evolve toward a more localized Web. Asia has been leading the way forward as the populations in that region come online and begin creating and consuming content in their local languages. According to Internet World Stats, over 48 percent of all Internet users are located in Asia and, according to W3Techs, approximately 45 percent of all websites in the world are in a language other than English.
Still, navigation of the Internet through a URL is primarily in English. Therefore, by enabling more end users to navigate the Internet in scripts representing their native language, and giving more companies the ability to maintain a common brand identity across many scripts, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) have the potential to make the Internet more accessible and thus more usable to end users around the world. This accessibility is why IDNs have generated considerable attention since Verisign introduced IDNs at the second-level in 2000.
REGISTRATION PERIODS FOR .コム
In 2012, Verisign applied for several localizations of the .com and .net top-level domains (TLDs) in different scripts through ICANN’s new gTLD program in order to enable IDNs at the top-level. Verisign is now poised to launch a phased rollout for these IDN TLDs by opening the sunrise period for the launch of .コム, the .com you know, now available in Japanese. Verisign will be introducing additional TLD localizations of .com and/or .net in the future, which will enable businesses and individuals in non-English speaking communities to access the Internet in their own native script.
Verisign will provide the following registration periods* for its launch of .コム:
- Sunrise Period: Dec. 9, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016 March 14, 2016
- Priority Access Program: Feb. 1 to April 3, 2016 March 15, 2016 to May 15, 2016
- Landrush: April 4 to May 1, 2016 May 16, 2016 to June 12, 2016
- Start of General Availability: May 2, 2016 June 13, 2016
The Sunrise period will be a start date Sunrise (first come, first served) and will only be accessible to prospective registrants with a Signed Mark Data (SMD) file from the Trademark Clearinghouse. During the Sunrise period, these prospective registrants will be able to register the second-level domain (SLD) in .コム that matches the string recorded in their SMD file. Both IDN and ASCII SLDs may be registered during the Sunrise period.
Following the Sunrise period, there will be a Priority Access Program for about 60 days which will be an exclusive registration period for existing registrants of .com domain names. During the Priority Access Program period, these registrants will be able to register in .コム the identical SLD for which they are the current registrant in .com. For example:
The registration must also be initiated by the same sponsoring registrar of the existing SLD in .com and must be for the same registrant on record. Here too, both IDN and ASCII SLDs may be registered.
The Landrush phase will follow the Priority Access phase and will be open to all potential registrants on a first come first served basis with no restrictions. Landrush will last approximately 28 days and will be followed by General Availability.*
As Verisign takes its next steps in this journey with our first IDN TLD launch, we continue to be excited about how these new IDN TLDs will enable individuals, and businesses of all sizes, to create a localized Web experience, brand in local script, and reach new audiences with a domain name that meets the security, stability and resiliency expectations that users have come to expect from products powered by Verisign.
With the Internet poised to undergo a historic transformation and IDNs paving the way, it is time for a truly localized World Wide Web. To learn more about IDNs, click here.
*Please note that the information in this blog post regarding the registration periods for .コム, including the corresponding dates, is for general information purposes only and is subject to change. For the most current registration periods, corresponding dates and other detailed information regarding .コム, visit http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/sunrise-claims-periods.